An increase of the number of crocodiles in Ruvuma River as well as crocodile attacks has forced Henjewele to leave fishing.

“I witnessed two of my colleagues attacked by the animal. One of them died three years ago and one injured. So, I am no longer interested in fishing,” said Henjewele, who now is doing something else to make a living.

Ruvuma River in southern Tanzania has in recent years become a threatening water body in the region due to the crocodiles — the third-most dangerous predator in Africa after the hippos and the lion.

People living along the river fall prey of the ferocious animal as they depend on the river for fetching water, bathing, and some, fishing to earn a living.

The Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) said in the last two years, there have been over 70 deaths and 65 injuries in the country caused by crocodiles, and the majority of them were recorded from Ruvuma River and Lake Victoria.

Godfrey Manyahi, an official from the region’s Tunduru District, said since January this year, three people were killed and others injured by crocodile attacks in the area.

Manyahi said the authorities are aware that crocodiles become a new and serious challenge for locals, and they are putting measures to handle it.

“We are trying to harvest them, but their numbers are worsening and put people in the area on the dock,” said Jafeth Mnyagala, Land and Natural Resources officer in Tunduru District.

“Our aim is to completely eliminate the animal so that it cannot continue causing death to people living in the area,” he said, calling on people living close to the river to be extra-careful.

In 2011, Tanzanian government appointed three companies operating crocodile farms to harvest crocodiles in Mnavira and Chikolopoda areas along Ruvuma River, but the harvest seems ineffective as the number continues to mount. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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